It’s important to note that Cappuccilli’s biomorphic forms, drawn in graphite on herculene, don’t try to reproduce views of human or animal tissues under a microscope. These drawings are shrouded in mystery; they evoke life forms we don’t recognize or understand. At the same time, the pieces are visually compelling, both delicate and concrete. It’s not surprising that Cappuccilli’s drawings are sometimes mistaken for photographs.
Beyond that, the forms appear in various guises: “Biomorphic Form Dividing,” hinting at reproduction; “Biomorphic Form Turning,” with a sense of motion; “Biomorphic Form with Appendage,” a work with varied implications, perhaps referencing a critical stage of an organism’s development.
And there are other drawings, not part of the biomorphic series, suggesting life forms. “Unknown II” portrays a star-shaped creature, while “Untitled” offers a view of a life form very much open to interpretation.
Elsewhere, the exhibit features several of Cappuccilli’s stain drawings, works done in pencil but focusing on stains’ appearance and randomness. The best of these works include “Left-Right Splatter” and “2 Direction Splatter,” with spots grouped in a haphazard way.
Another segment of the show features large works such as “Emergence, Submergence,” a mixed-media piece with small sections chipped away. In a literal context, that speaks to erosion. In a larger context, the work brings to mind the pervasive nature of change and the impact of small changes. A second painting, full of vivid red, gold and black colors, communicates a sense of turmoil, perhaps a volcanic eruption.
“Breach,” meanwhile, is a chaotic, captivating mixed-media piece. It blends rough colors and a piece of rope running up and down the length of a very long canvas, wood and other found objects. Those items are mostly covered by what looks like a second layer of canvas. In addition, the work provides a strong sense of illusion; it seems to ooze and drip, to be in an advanced state of decay. It’s a raw, tactile, ambitious artwork.
Clearly, this piece is very different from a subtle drawing like “Biomorphic Form with Appendage.” Yet contrast isn’t a major element in this show. It simply presents Cappuccilli’s varied artworks and lets viewers draw their own conclusions. And it again demonstrates the value of a solo exhibit, which is well worth a visit to OCC’s Onondaga Hill campus.
Cappuccilli will be feted at two receptions on Thursday, April 16, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. In addition to the receptions, the gallery is open Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 498-2787.